SALT LAKE CITY — Better safe than sorry.
That’s the approach Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin took with injured forward Marvin Williams for Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Williams has been dealing with a strained lower back and had an MRI test rescheduled from Thursday to Friday morning. Because the team didn’t get the results back Friday, the 6-foot-9 forward got the night off.
Williams, who didn’t practice Thursday because of his ailing back, has now missed 12 games this season for a variety of reasons, including Achilles rehab, right foot calcaneal inflammation, heel inflammation and a nasal fracture.
Utah’s record in Williams’ absence coming into Friday’s game: 0-11.
“It changes a little bit because Marvin is more of a 3–point guy we can kick it to,” Jazz point guard Trey Burke said. “He’s going to make some threes and gives us some spark and be that leader as well.”
It’s uncertain whether Williams will travel with the team on the upcoming three-game road trip to San Antonio, Houston and Memphis.
The Jazz were also without backup point guard John Lucas III for the second straight game. Lucas sprained his right ankle Tuesday in practice.
ROLE MODEL: According to the official stats, Trey Burke has one inch on Chris Paul. The Jazz guard is listed at 6-foot-1 while Paul’s height is an even 6 feet, per the Clippers’ official roster.
With their size similarity because they play the same position, Burke has long admired Paul’s superstar-level game.
“That’s a guy I definitely looked up to. He’s been in the NBA since I was in high school,” the 21-year-old Burke said of 28-year-old Paul. “I want to be that type of guy where I can run a team and still score at the same time — and win most importantly.”
DUNK TALK: Jazz center Enes Kanter was asked if he’s ever dunked over a car like Clippers star Blake Griffin famously did to win the 2011 NBA Dunk Contest.
“Not even a bicycle,” Kanter said, smiling.
And, yes, he’s OK with that.
Added Kanter: “Two points is two points, right?”